Published: Sat, June 10, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Modi meets Sharif in Kazakhstan

The summit concluded with India and Pakistan's admission as members of the SCO. India has been a observer to the Eurasian bloc since 2005.

"The drivers of which will be energy, education, agriculture, defence, minerals, capacity building, development partnership, trade and investment", he said.

"With SCO members, we share deep historical and cultural ties, as well as strong economic and strategic linkages".

A summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is under way in Kazakhstan's capital, Astana.

In its first-ever expansion, the SCO will grant permanent membership to both India and Pakistan and may also induct Iran, reported PTI.

According to Xi's spokesman, Modi told the Chinese leader that the two countries "should address major and sensitive issues", which also include India welcoming the Tibetan figurehead, the Dalai Lama, and economic cooperation between Beijing and Islamabad.

"Today, new full members join the Shanghai Cooperation Organization..."

Modi said that India has long-standing relations with SCO members and he looked forward to "progressing them further through the SCO for mutual betterment and growth of our countries and our peopl".

In his speech that immediately followed Modi's, Sharif said, "We fully endorse the SCO's resolve to fight the twin evils of terrorism and extremism".

India chose to skip Belt and Road Forum (BRF) - China's biggest summit of the year - held in April.

SCO represents almost half of the world's population after the inclusion of the two South Asian states.

"Moreover, it helps us all combat terrorism, reduce arms race, eliminate poverty. deal with natural disasters, tackle climate change and assure water security", he added.

They emphasized the importance of taking joint actions against armed terrorists who have participated in global terrorist groups' activities and returned to the SCO countries. With the first expansion of the grouping since its inception in 2001, the SCO will now represent over 40 per cent of humanity and almost 20 per cent of the global GDP.

On last day of the summit, the members also signed a declaration against terrorism.

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